1Διὸ μηκέτι στέγοντες εὐδοκήσαμεν καταλειφθῆναι ἐν Ἀθήναις μόνοι 2 καὶ ἐπέμψαμεν Τιμόθεον, τὸν ἀδελφὸν ἡμῶν καὶ συνεργὸν τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ τοῦ Χριστοῦ, εἰς τὸ στηρίξαι ὑμᾶς καὶ παρακαλέσαι ὑπὲρ τῆς πίστεως ὑμῶν 3 τὸ μηδένα σαίνεσθαι ἐν ταῖς θλίψεσιν ταύταις. αὐτοὶ γὰρ οἴδατε ὅτι εἰς τοῦτο κείμεθα· 4 καὶ γὰρ ὅτε πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἦμεν, προελέγομεν ὑμῖν ὅτι μέλλομεν θλίβεσθαι, καθὼς καὶ ἐγένετο καὶ οἴδατε. 5 διὰ τοῦτο κἀγὼ μηκέτι στέγων ἔπεμψα εἰς τὸ γνῶναι τὴν πίστιν ὑμῶν, μή πως ἐπείρασεν ὑμᾶς ὁ πειράζων καὶ εἰς κενὸν γένηται ὁ κόπος ἡμῶν.
In chapter 3 the writers proceed to complete the first section of their letter. They conclude with the prayer in 3:11-13. Having described the difficult experience of these believers in their absence and explained why they could not return, even Paul, They then explain what action they did take. In 3:1 they mark this further explanation with the particle διό (see 5:11). Runge (Discourse Grammar) does not discuss this particle. BDAG (250) describes it as an “inferential conjunction” and glosses it as “therefore, for this reason.” It connects the preceding section logically with what follows in the discourse. The adverb μηκέτι is a negative time indicator “no longer” that modifies the adverbial participle. They frame the action of the main verb with the adverbial present active participle στέγοντες (“to pass over in silence; to bear up against difficulties, stand, endure” (BDAG, 942; see 1 Cor. 13:7). They use it again in v. 5 where they virtually repeat this same construction. It only occurs in the NT in the Pauline correspondence. The present tense of the participle indicates that its action is contemporaneous with the action of the main verb.
For the aorist verb εὐδοκήσαμεν see the commentary at 2:8. The aorist passive infinitive καταλειφθῆναι completes the meaning of the main verb and means “to be left behind, remain.” The subject of the main verb and the infinitive are the same and so there is no need to make the subject of the infinitive explicit. ἐν Ἀθήναις is locative indicating where they remained. Note again, this city name is a plural like Φίλιπποι (2:2). The nominative plural adjective μόνοι modifies the subject of εὐδοκήσαμεν (“we readily decided”) and its distance from the main verb and placement at the end of the clause gives it some prominence (compare the use in Rom. 11:3). The nominative plural form μόνοι is unexpected. If it is intended to modify the subject of the infinitive one would expect an accusative form. However, it might be an ad sensum adjustment to the nominative. It might also modify the subject of εὐδοκήσαμεν and so “alone” expresses their sense of separation from the Thessalonians, rather than their separation from Timothy as they send him. The meaning would “we, alone in Athens, decided to remain and so we sent….” So their decision not to move beyond Athens indicates their desire to wait there until they heard how things κgoing in Thessalonika. However, this interpretation is certainly not that expressed by the majority of commentators, yet none even comments on the use of the nominative form. There is much discussion about whether the plural subject is an example of the “epistolary ‘we’” (see Wallace, Greek Grammar, 393-99). In my opinion, there is no change in the writer’s referents for the first person plural in this section.
They continue with a second independent clause connected with the previous by καί, indicating a sequential development in the narrative. The aorist tense form ἐπέμψαμεν indicates a completed or perfected action. The action of the verb finds completion in the infinitive of purpose construction marked by the preposition εἰς (τὸ στηρίξαι ὑμᾶς). The aorist tense form of the infinitive indicates a completed action. The verb στηρίζω (see 1 Pet. 5:10) means “to fix firmly in place; to cause to be inwardly firm or committed” (BDAG, 945). Since the infinitive is an active, transitive verb form, ὑμάς probably functions as the direct object of both infinitives. This means that the subject of the infinitives remains the same as that of the main verb, i.e., “so that we might confirm and exhort/comfort you.” The writers link a second aorist active infinitive with the first by means of καί, indicating a second purpose, namely παρακαλέσαι (“to comfort, encourage; exhort”; see the commentary at 2:12 and usage at 3:7 and 4:1). The adverbial prepositional phrase ὑπὲρ τῆς πίστεως ὑμῶν probably modifies both infinitives and defines the matters about which they need confirmation and encouragement or exhortation. ὑμῶν is a subjective genitive. πίστις could refer to the content of what they trust or the personal commitment to trust.
The direct object of the main verb in 3:2 is the anarthrous Τιμόθεον. The writer defines his relationship with the correspondents (τὸν ἀδελφὸν ἡμῶν) and his role (συνεργὸν τοῦ θεοῦ) in God’s mission. The single article covers both appositional nouns joined by καί, forming one unit of modification. The two subjective genitives ἡμῶν…τοῦ θεοῦ cleverly link Timothy with the mission team, as well as with God himself. συνεργός is primarily a Pauline term (exception is 3 Jn. 8) and usually it is defined by a genitive term referencing a human agent, but in 1 Cor. 3:9, 1 Th. 3:2 and possibly Col. 4:11, God is the referent. Paul uses this same combination of terms to describe Epaphroditus in Phil. 2:25. The adverbial phrase ἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ τοῦ Χριστοῦ probably defines both nouns, but may be intended specifically to define συνεργός. ἐν probably defines the matter in which Timothy works under divine auspices. τοῦ Χριστοῦ could have both objective and subjective connotations in this phrase. This phrase occurs primarily in Paul’s letters in the NT (Mk. 1:1; Rom. 15:19; 1 Cor. 9:12; 2 Cor. 2:12; 9:13; 10:14 (in same ἐν phrase); Gal. 1:7; Phil. 1:27; 1 Th. 3:2; 2 Th. 1:8). What is the function of such an epithet, rhetorically speaking?
The first part of verse three continues and concludes the complex clause that forms 3:1-3a. The substantivized, present passive infinitive (τὸ…σαίνεσθαι) expresses purpose (see a similar construction in 4:6 τὸ μὴ ὑπερβαίνειν) or result expected from this action to strengthen and encourage. The negative pronoun μηδένα probably functions as the subject of the passive infinitive. We might anticipate εἰς would mark τὸ…σαίνεσθαι, but Bruce suggests that prior εἰς before τὸ στηρίξαι “does duty for the missing εἰς here” (Word Commentary, 1st and 2nd Thessalonians, 59). The meaning of σαίνω is debated because this is its only use in the NT. It does occur in Classical Greek writings with the sense “to fawn over someone” and sometimes this fawning has a deceptive motive. It may then have the sense that none of these believers should succumb to any fawning or beguiling attention that their fellow-citizens might express towards them. Some scholars, however, building on usage found in later papyri and a use in Diogenes Laertius, read it to mean “to disturb, agitate,” perhaps similar in sense to σαλευθῆναι in 2 Th. 2:2. The adverbial phrase ἐν ταῖς θλίψεσιν ταύταις (1:6; 3:7) defines the circumstances in which they encounter this beguiling action.
Verses 3b-4 form parenthetical comments both of which are marked by the explanatory γάρ. The writers use οἴδατε twice, once in v. 3b and once in v. 4 (beginning and end of the parenthesis), with the self-identifying pronoun αὐτοί (“you yourselves”) modifying the subject in the first instance. These verb phrases make connection with the audience. οἴδατε 1˚ is modified by a ὅτι content clause that functions as object of the verb. The present middle indicative κείμεθα has the sense “be appointed, be destined” (BDAG 537.3). They front the adverbial phrase of purpose εἰς τοῦτο to give it prominence. The present tense form indicates an incomplete or imperfect action. The writers use this clause to explain that such oppression is part and parcel of the Christian experience.
3:4 is a complex sentence that begins with a temporal clause (marked by ὅτε), then states the main clause that incorporates a ὅτι clause, and concludes with a compound clause of comparison marked by καθώς. The initial καί is ascensive and expresses a concessive idea (“even”). The temporal clause incorporates the imperfect equative verb ἦμεν, with the adverbial prepositional phrase serving as the predicate. There is no motion expressed by the preposition, but rather it describes being in the company of someone (perhaps “with, among”). It precedes the verb and so has prominence in its clause. The writers employ another imperfect indicative verb προελέγομεν “tell in advance,” with the imperfect tense form indicating an incomplete action in the past. ὑμῖν identifies the indirect object and the people addressed and the ὅτι content clause functions as the direct object, indicating what was said in advance. Within the ὅτι clause the writers use the auxiliary verb μέλλω + complementary infinitive to indicate the substance of the advance information. The present passive infinitive θλίβεσθαι means “be oppressed” and is cognate with the previous noun θλίψις (v. 3), another repetition that binds verses 3b-4 together. μέλλω may have a volitional sense here, i.e., “must/are bound to be oppressed,” perhaps picking up the note of “destiny” expressed in the previous verb κείμεθα. Some argue that the writers here are referring to eschatological suffering at the end of the age as expressed in 2 Th. 1-2. However, it might also describe the ‘normal’ resistance that Christians were experiencing, as Jewish Christians experienced in Judea (1 Th. 2:14).
In 3:5 the writers pick up the thread of their discourse from 3:3a. The repetition of terminology from v. 1 used in v. 5 is a means of showing this resumption. διὰ τοῦτο may just repeat διό and reflect the statements in 2:17-20, rather than the information in 3:1-4. However, τοῦτο may specify the nearer context. κἀγω marks a shift to first person singular, but without identifying the person. καί is ascensive and serves to indicate that this person, one of the correspondents, seems particularly anxious to discern what is happening in Thessalonika. For μηκέτι στέγων see the commentary at 3:1. The writers also repeat the πέμπω + εἰς + articulated infinitive of purpose. They employ the aorist active infinitive γνῶναι (γινώσκω), perhaps with the sense “ascertain, come to know, find out” (BDAG, 200.6). This is the only use of this verb in the Thessalonian correspondence. The object is τὴν πίστιν ὑμῶν, reflecting the same phrase in 2:2. According to BDAG (901.2) μή πως marks “negative perspective expressing misgiving,” i.e., lest. The substantival present active participle ὁ πειράζων functions as the subject of the cognate aorist active indicative verb form ἐπείρασεν (Satan is the subject of this verb in 1 Cor 7:5; God seems to be the agent in Heb 11:17; see the terminology used in James 1). This is its only occurrence in the Pauline correspondence (cf. Mt 3:1). The use of cognate terms serves to emphasize what this figure in fact does, but also reflects the use of various cognate terms in this section and other repetitions. The present tense form of the participle expresses an incomplete action. ὑμᾶς is the main verb’s direct object. The coordinating conjunction καί joins the two clauses marked by μή πως. The first uses an aorist indicative tense form that assumes that this action may in fact have occurred, namely they have experienced testing/tempting. The verb in the second clause is an aorist middle subjunctive tense form and describes a potential action, but there is uncertainty as to whether it fact occurs. The subject ὁ κόπος (see 1:3; 2:9; cognate verb κοπιάω at 5:12) is modified by a subjective genitive ἡμῶν. The writers place the adverbial prepositional phrase εἰς κενόν first in the clause, giving it prominence. A similar verb phrase occurs in 2:1 with a perfect tense form.
6 Ἄρτι δὲ ἐλθόντος Τιμοθέου πρὸς ἡμᾶς ἀφ’ ὑμῶν καὶ εὐαγγελισαμένου ἡμῖν τὴν πίστιν καὶ τὴν ἀγάπην ὑμῶν καὶ ὅτι ἔχετε μνείαν ἡμῶν ἀγαθὴν πάντοτε, ἐπιποθοῦντες ἡμᾶς ἰδεῖν καθάπερ καὶ ἡμεῖς ὑμᾶς, 7 διὰ τοῦτο παρεκλήθημεν, ἀδελφοί, ἐφ’ ὑμῖν ἐπὶ πάσῃ τῇ ἀνάγκῃ καὶ θλίψει ἡμῶν διὰ τῆς ὑμῶν πίστεως, 8 ὅτι νῦν ζῶμεν ἐὰν ὑμεῖς στήκετε ἐν κυρίῳ. 9 τίνα γὰρ εὐχαριστίαν δυνάμεθα τῷ θεῷ ἀνταποδοῦναι περὶ ὑμῶν ἐπὶ πάσῃ τῇ χαρᾷ ᾗ χαίρομεν δι’ ὑμᾶς ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ θεοῦ ἡμῶν, 10 νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρας ὑπερεκπερισσοῦ δεόμενοι εἰς τὸ ἰδεῖν ὑμῶν τὸ πρόσωπον καὶ καταρτίσαι τὰ ὑστερήματα τῆς πίστεως ὑμῶν;
The writers creates two complex sentences (verses 6-8 and 9-10) to describe the relief that the correspondents experienced when Timothy returned with good news. δέ marks the new topic, perhaps with an adversative flavor in contrast to the previous anxiety. The adverb ἄρτι provides a temporal note, indicating something that has “just happened in the past” or perhaps is immediate in the present, i.e., “right now.” In my opinion, it probably modifies the main verb παρεκλήθημεν, although it could also qualify the participles ἐλθόντος…καὶ εὐαγγελισαμένου. The genitive absolute construction ἐλθόντος Τιμοθέου…καὶ εὐαγγελισαμένου expresses cause or time. Their aorist tense forms suggest completed actions in relation to the action of the main verb. The “subject” of these participles’ action Τιμοθέου is neither subject or nor object of the main verb. πρὸς ἡμᾶς expresses literal motion “to us,” reflecting the action of the first participle. ἀφ’ ὑμῶν indicates separation and describes the point of origin for this motion. We get good indication in this context of the normal sense of εὐαγγελίζομαι when it is not specifically used to describe the communication of the gospel. Here it simply means “share good news about a significant event (τὴν πίστιν).” The direct object of the second participle is the compound expression τὴν πίστιν καὶ τὴν ἀγάπην. Since both nouns have an article, they are somewhat distinguished from each other. ὑμῶν would be a subjective genitive. ἡμῖν is a dative, indirect object indicating to whom the good news is addressed.
The writers include a second direct object with εὐαγγελισαμένου in the form of a content clause marked by ὅτι. They use indirect discourse to refer to some elements of this good news. ἔχετε μνείαν (present active indicative) means “to have memory/remembrance. This idiom occurs also in 2 Tim. 1:3. It is modified by the predicate adjective ἀγαθήν and its position gives it emphasis (see 1:3). ἡμῶν is an objective genitive. For the temporal adverb πάντοτε see the commentary at 1:2. The writers end the clause with it, giving it prominence. They add a circumstantial participial construction to the ὅτι clause, that affirms their fervent desire to see those writing the letter (ἐπιποθοῦντες – present active participle indicates an incomplete action contemporaneous with the verb ἔχετε). ἐπιποθέω often takes a complementary infinitive expressing the substance of the desire. In this case, the writers use the aorist active infinitive ἰδεῖν (as in 2:17). ἡμᾶς is the object of the infinitive. They attache a comparative clause to the participle marked by καθάπερ. The verb ἐπιποθέω is implied and καί is ascensive, modifying the explicit subject ἡμεῖς. The juxtaposition of ἡμεῖς ὑμᾶς located at the centre of this complex sentence gives auditory and visual expression to their mutual desires.
The writers mark the beginning of the main clause with the adverbial phrase διὰ τοῦτο, indicating that this clause incorporates in verses 7b and 8 a reason for the comfort being experienced by the correspondents. However, it could also refer back to the arrival of Timothy with his news. The aorist passive indicative παρεκλήθημεν perhaps has the sense “we have experienced/received comfort.” The vocative ἀδελφοί adds emphasis to ἐφ’ ὑμῖν, an adverbial phrase probably defining reference or perhaps cause. The second ἑπί + dative phrase may have a temporal sense, i.e., “in the time of our distress and affliction.” These two nouns occur together in lists in 2 Cor. 6:4 (see also 2 Cor. 12:10). Note that πάσῃ τῇ links the two nouns tightly together and it might be an example of hendiadys. This word pair occurs in LXX Zeph. 1:15 to describe the crisis generated by the “day of the Lord.” ἡμῶν is objective genitive because this distress and affliction are not caused by the correspondents. The writers end this complex sentence with the prepositional phrase διὰ τῆς ὑμῶν πίστεως that summarizes the reason for their encouragement, namely, the faith or faithfulness expressed by the Thessalonian believers (ὑμῶν would be a subjective genitive). It may echo the initial διὰ τοῦτο. As well, they add (v. 8) a causal clause marked by ὅτι, providing additional rational for their encouragement. The temporal adverb νῦν resonates with the initial ἄρτι (v. 6). ζῶμεν is a present active indicative form. What does this verb mean here? It forms the apodosis of a third class conditional clause marked by ἐάν. The subject of the verb στήκετε is made explicit and occurs first in the protasis, giving it prominence. According to Funk-Blass-Debrunner (189 §372), ἐάν + indicative “can express indefinite relation to a present reality” and may have the connotation “should” (BDAG, 267.b.β). Since the writers know that they are indeed remaining committed, the subjunctive tense form would not be appropriate. To stand ἐν κυρίῳ presumably refers to their relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ (see also 4:1, 5:12; 2 Th 3:4; 12). This phrase occurs frequently in Pauline letters and usually is anarthrous (exception at Eph 1:15). στήκω and στηρίζω (v.2) point to the same reality.
The writers cast the second complex sentence in this section (3:9-10) as a question, marked by the interrogative pronoun/adjective τίνα. It qualifies εὐχαριστίαν and together they function as the object of the complementary aorist active infinitive ἀνταποδοῦναι (“to pay back”). τῷ θεῷ serves as the indirect object of the infinitive. The writers regard this clause as an explanatory element, marking it with γάρ. This infinitive completes the main verb δυνάμεθα. The adverbial prepositional phrase περὶ ὑμῶν defines the reason for the thanksgiving or gratitude. ἐπὶ πάσῃ τῇ χαρᾷ may have a causal sense and probably contrasts with the same construction used in v. 7. As they have done several times in this section, the writers use another cognate construction, namely χαρᾷ with a relative clause that incorporates a cognate verb χαίρομεν (for other cognate constructions see vv. 3-4 θλίψις—θλίβω and v. 5 πειράζων—πειράζω). δι’ ὑμᾶς gives the reason for the rejoicing. The writers employ the adverbial phrase ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ θεοῦ, indicating the position in which the subjects rejoice. In this life, they live and serve “before the deity” (as in 1:3; concept of God as witness in 2:10; at the Parousia “before the Lord Jesus Christ at 2:19). ἡμῶν is a genitive of subordination.
The latter part of this complex sentence employs a circumstantial present participle δεόμενοι (“to ask earnestly”). The present tense form indicates an incomplete action, probably contemporaneous with the main verb’s action. It is modified by a genitive of time phrase νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρας, indicating time within which or during which. Perhaps this is another way to express the same idea communicated by παντοτέ (1:2) and ἀδιαλείπτως (1:2). The correspondents employ the adverb ὑπερεκπερισσοῦ (“quite beyond all measure (highest form of comparison imaginable)” BDAG, 1033) to describe the earnest nature of their prayers to God. They use articulated, aorist active infinitives of purpose marked by εἰς to express the content of their requests. ὑμῶν τὸ πρόσωπον is the object of ἰδεῖν and ὑμῶν is a genitive of possession. Note the position of the possessive pronoun. The second infinitive καταρτίσαι derives from καταρτίζω (“to cause to be in a condition to function well, put it order; make complete” (BDAG, 526); see the usage in Mt. 4:21; 1 Pet. 5:10; Lk. 6:10). Its object is the plural noun ὑστέρημα “need, want deficiency.” Apart from its use in Lk. 21:4, this is a Pauline term in the NT. The writers probably identify and discuss some of these “deficiencies” in chapters 4-5. τῆς πίστεως may be a subjective genitive (Wallace, Greek Grammar, 116), as is the accompanying ὑμῶν.
11.Αὐτὸς δὲ ὁ θεὸς καὶ πατὴρ ἡμῶν καὶ ὁ κύριος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦς κατευθύναι τὴν ὁδὸν ἡμῶν πρὸς ὑμᾶς· 12.ὑμᾶς δὲ ὁ κύριος πλεονάσαι καὶ περισσεύσαι τῇ ἀγάπῃ εἰς ἀλλήλους καὶ εἰς πάντας καθάπερ καὶ ἡμεῖς εἰς ὑμᾶς, 13.εἰς τὸ στηρίξαι ὑμῶν τὰς καρδίας ἀμέμπτους ἐν ἁγιωσύνῃ ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ πατρὸς ἡμῶν ἐν τῇ παρουσίᾳ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ μετὰ πάντων τῶν ἁγίων αὐτοῦ, [ἀμήν].
The δέ in vv. 11 and 12 mark the two prayer requests that the writers make. The verbs in these petitions are aorist active optative forms (κατευθύναι, πλεονάσαι, περσσεύσαι; see also 5:23), the mood normally used in wishes. The writers construct a compound subject, each one with its own article and modified by ἡμῶν, a genitive of subordination. The initial αὐτός, the self-identifying pronoun, may indicates that θεὸς καὶ πατὴρ has prominence in this collaboration. In the second member, ὁ κύριος is the principal noun, with Ἰησοῦς in apposition to it. Normally when a compound subject precedes a verb, the verb is plural in number. If a compound subject follows the verb, then often the number of the verb shows agreement with the number of the first subject. What is unusual here is that the compound subject, preceding the verb, has a singular verb (see a similar example in 1 Pet. 1:3). Since both nominatives have articles, it seems that the writers want to distinguish them, but the singular verb suggests that they also consider their desired action as something they do together. κατευθύνω means “lead, direct” (BDAG, 532; see 2 Th. 3:5). τὴν ὁδόν is this verb’s direct object, with ἡμῶν functioning as a subjective genitive. πρὸς ὑμᾶς indicates motion.
In the second prayer-wish (v. 12) the writers front the object ὑμᾶς to give it prominence. The subject ὁ κύριος picks up the previous reference to the Lord Jesus. πλεονάζω is a causative verb meaning “to cause increase” (BDAG, 824). περισσεύω conveys a similar meaning, namely “to abound” (BDAG, 805). Placed in tandem these terms emphasize the same idea. τῇ ἀγάπῃ is probably a dative of reference, indicating how the Lord will cause them to increase. εἰς ἀλλήλους καὶ εἰς πάντας metaphorically define the direction or application of this “love,” namely internally to their fellow-Christians in Thessalonika, and then “towards all.” Who is included in πάντας? The writers add further definition to this love in the comparative clause marked by καθάπερ. Previously the writers have urged the audience to imitate the correspondents and now they specify in what regard, namely “just as we too [abound in love] towards you.” They have used virtually the same comparative clause construction in 3:6.
The final part of this complex sentence (v. 13) is an articulated infinitive of purpose, marked by εἰς. No specific subject of the infinitive is expressed, because it remains ὁ κύριος. στηρίξαι is an aorist active infinitive (see the commentary at 3:2). It is a causal verb meaning “to establish, confirm.” In this case, the verb has two objects, the first being τὰς καρδίας (see Jam 5:8), modified by the genitive of possession ὑμῶν and the second being ἀμέμπτους “blameless, faultless,” a two-termination, alpha-privative adjective. The manner of this faultless status is expressed in the phrase ἐν ἁγιωσύνῃ (see 4:3). The verb phrase occurs in the Septuagint (e.g., Psa. 111:7 ἐστήρικται ἡ καρδία αὐτοῦ), being a Hebraism, and is not a usual Greek idiom. The adverbial prepositional phrase ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ πατρὸς ἡμῶν suggests that the one who evaluates this “lack of fault” is their God and father. ἡμῶν may be a genitive of relationship here since if follows πατρός, but it also implies subordination. This evaluation occurs at a specific time or in the midst of a specific situation, namely ἐν τῇ παρουσίᾳ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ (see 2:19; 4:15; 5:23). The genitive τοῦ κυρίου could be subjective or objective, or perhaps expresses elements of both. As in 3:11, Ἰησοῦ is appositional. μετά + genitive usually indicates accompaniment. The use of πάντων τῶν ἁγίων picks up the reference to holiness (ἁγιωσύνη) and indicates that other humans have experienced the Lord’s transformational power in this regard. They are “his holy ones” because ὁ κύριος has the capacity to enable people to be “blameless in holiness.” αὑτοῦ could be subjective here, i.e., “the ones he makes holy.” In the Septuagint οἱ ἅγιοι can describe the Israelites.